Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) hasbeen with us since August 2020, and one thing that many of us havewanted since its release is a better pushback system. The one builtinto the simulator itself works as a basic system but doesn't provideany real immersion or realism. It is very plain and simple and can beaccessed either by a combination on the keyboard of Ctrl+J, or via thein-sim menus, and that is as far as things really go.
Luckily, FS2Crew have released Pushback Express for MSFS, which isa very basic, yet powerful tool which allows you to control thepushback yourself, open aircraft doors, request a range of differentservices and even control the pushback with your voice! It really is amust-have add-on for MSFS in my opinion, and I'm very excited to giveit a review.
So as I touched upon earlier this really is a simple tool, andalthough it doesn't have every single one of the features that GSXdoes for example, it does make your simming experience a whole loteasier.
One awesome thing about this software is the tooltips feature,which combines perfectly with the default MSFS interface to teach youhow to use the software if you are unsure how to. This is excellentfor people such as myself who don't have time to study user manuals orinstructions and just want to get right into things and learn rightaway.
Another great feature that I liked was the ability to manuallysteer the pushback truck or tug using the joystick axis.Unfortunately, the software itself doesn't currently work the same wayas GSX where it automatically detects which directions are availablefor push and where the taxiways are, etc. but that tiny little issueis blown right out of the water by the ability to actually controlyour own pushback vehicles!
Manually controlling the tug isn't the only way you can push orpull to where you want to go. The software also lets you make use ofthe keyboard to do the same task, or to choose a "distance" basedpushback which will simply push your aircraft back to a certain,user-defined distance from the gate or ramp.
You can also use your microphone to speak to the software tocontrol several aspects of your pre-flight experience.
The interface for this software is very basic, yet veryprofessional-looking. You have the ability to double-click the titlebar of the window which will collapse it down, and the window itselfseems to default to a "bring to front" mode which prevents you fromclicking on something else on a second screen and having to fumblearound to find it again.
Although some users might find this a little annoying, I was unableto find an option to disable this "bring to front" behaviour, butsince I use a second screen this didn't really affect me at all.
The buttons on the main interface seem to be pretty basic and easyto understand. You have everything you need on there such as openingaircraft doors, requesting ground power, requesting stairs, etc.
You can also go into the settings of the program to modify thingssuch as the pushback sensitivity, pushback distance (if you're usingDistance Mode), enabling or disabling tooltips, or indeed if you wantto enable or disable the inbuilt pilot and ground crew voices. You canalso select from a range of different pilot and ground crew voiceswhich seem to be quite well made, and add to the overall immersion.
There is also the ability to bind certain functions to custom keyson your keyboard which is nice to see. It makes things a lot easierthan manually selecting things from the software interface.
With regards to performance, I can safely say that I foundabsolutely no impact on frame rates from using the software itself -there were no stutters or visual bugs.
Although it might not come under performance specifically, I didnotice sometimes that the pushback tug seems to randomly disappearonce the pushback is complete, as opposed to returning back to itsproper position on the ramp. I'm sure this is something that is easilyfixed and will probably be improved in a future update.
In terms of how the software itself actually works and performswhen you're using it, again I found no issues whatsoever. It doesn'tseem to crash to desktop or lag in any way, and all the relevantfunctions and buttons work as expected.
Price Point And Marketplace
FS2Crew Pushback Express can be purchased for $19.95 currently,which I think is a brilliant price for such an easy-to-use andfeature-packed piece of software.
Would I recommend FS2Crew Pushback Express? Of course, I would, itis a must-have piece of software for Microsoft Flight Simulator. It isbasic enough for people who don't want too much complication, butsophisticated enough to pack a punch when compared to other tools onthe market of this type that we have available for P3D or FSX.
No doubt FS2Crew will be constantly providing updates for thissoftware which will allow it to develop and improve over time, and inthe future we will probably see a whole range of improvements,features and fixes.
Thanks to my friends over at FlightSim.Com for providing me with acopy of this awesome software./images/reviews/pushbkex/title3.jpg
Purchase FS2Crew - Pushback Express for MSFS 2020
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